India want protection, safe passage for civilian Tamils: Anand Sharma

 India want protection, safe passage for civilian Tamils: Anand SharmaKolkata, Apr 24 : Congress leader and Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma on Friday said that India wanted protection and safe passage only for civilian Tamils in Sri Lanka and not the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Sharma further said that while it was imperative that the Sri Lankan government paid heed to India's request regarding the safety of civilians, it was also important for the LTTE to allow safe passage to civilians.

"India is sending humanitarian assistance to Lanka and is ready to send more family packs and medical aid," Sharma said at a press conference here.

Sharma also expressed concern over the rise of extremist religious organizations like the Taliban in Pakistan.

"Pakistan is today the epicentre of terrorism and the terror outfits. Terror syndicate operating from Pakistan can destabilize the region and harm the entire civil society," Sharma added.

Sharma also criticized the newly-formed `Third Front', saying that the front would be floated like a balloon after the general elections.

"All parties are aware that a secular government at the Centre cannot be formed without the Congress. Only Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh can lead the country firmly," he added. (ANI)